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Alabama And The Voting Rights Act

With Jane Clayson in for Tom Ashbrook.

The Supreme Court heard a challenge to the Voting Rights Act. Is it still needed?  We ask Shelby County, Alabama.

People wait in line outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 27,2013, to listen to oral arguments in the Shelby County, Ala., v. Holder voting rights case. (AP)

People wait in line outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 27,2013, to listen to oral arguments in the Shelby County, Ala., v. Holder voting rights case. (AP)

Shelby County, and its network of small towns, is a burgeoning bedroom community outside of Birmingham, Alabama. Affluent and majority white.

County leaders say the racist culture that once defined Alabama is no more.   A relic from the Old South. Last week, lawyers for Shelby County challenged a key part of the Voting Rights Act before the Supreme Court.

Can a state with a strong history of racial discrimination still protect minority voters without the government’s help? Passions are strong on both sides in Alabama. We’re listening.

This hour, On Point: Voices from Shelby County.

Guests

U.W. Clemon, Alabama’s first black federal judge. In 1974, he became one of the first two black Alabama state senators elected since Reconstruction. He worked alongside Martin Luther King Jr. in the Birmingham civil rights movement.

Cam Ward, Alabama state senator representing District 14, which includes Shelby County and Jefferson County.

Wayne Flynt, professor emeritus of history at Auburn University. Author of 8 books on Alabama, including “Alabama: The History of a Deep South State.” Founding editor of the online Encyclopedia of Alabama.

From the Reading List

The Hill “The Supreme Court on Wednesday appeared likely to strike down a key part of the Voting Rights Act, the landmark civil rights law designed to protect minority voters from discrimination. The court’s conservative justices were at times hostile to the law’s requirement that states with a history of discrimination gain ‘preclearance’ from the federal government before changing their voting procedures.”

The New Republic “In the wake of last week’s Supreme Court arguments over the Voting Rights Act, the geography of racism is once again a topic of debate. None other than Chief Justice John Roberts kicked things off when he asked the act’s defenders—that would be the U.S. Government—a 20-word question that brilliantly framed the entire debate: ‘Is it the government’s submission that the citizens of the South are more racist than the citizens of the North?,’ Roberts asked, pinning a very ragged tail on a very ugly donkey.”

Bloomberg “To Frank ‘Butch’ Ellis, the racist culture that defined Alabama 50 years ago is gone. Integrated neighborhoods are common, and blacks are winning local elections with white support, he says. ‘It’s not an issue anymore with us here,’ the white lawyer said from his office across the street from the Shelby County courthouse in Columbiana. To Harry Jones, a black minister, the racism has just moved underground. ‘Shelby County has modernized the ‘good ole boy’ syndrome,’ he said at his church in Calera, 10 miles away.”

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  • Gregg Smith

    What does anyone’s race have to do with their ability to vote?

    • jefe68

      Wow.

      • JobExperience

         Maybe Gregg could vote in blackface to even things up.

        • Gregg Smith

          What does anyone’s race have to do with their ability to vote?

          • JobExperience

             It seems paramount to you.

    • 1Brett1

      Don’t you mean “should” instead of “does”? The Voting Rights Act ensures that people WON’T be discriminated against because of their race. It is interesting that the Voting Rights Act has come into question in southern states where segregation and discrimination were once rampant. 

      I, like you, live in the south. While there is no formal racism (policy segregation and discrimination) in the south any longer, there are still racist attitudes among some people. Considering some of the shenanigans with voting in the past decade, I can see those who would become quite opportunistic in suppressing certain members of society from voting should the Voting Rights Act be struck down. All the law really is is Federal oversight of voting laws and practices, and there needs to be oversight beyond states overseeing themselves.

      Does the law harm or discriminate anyone by being in place? 

      • Gregg Smith

        No, I meant “does”. Obviously one’s race shouldn’t  affect their ability to vote but evidently many think it does. Why?

        There is a difference between having a racist view and acting on it to suppress votes, yet the assumption is they are one in the same. It reminds me of the Trayvonn Martin case when assuming racism meant assuming racists are hunting down blacks to kill. There is a whole lot of racism towards whites elsewhere, like Philly. No one assumes whites are incapable of voting.

        • 1Brett1

          No, there is no assumption that they are one and the same just that there is potential for voter suppression if discrimination laws are removed.

      • Gregg Smith

        “Does the law harm or discriminate anyone by being in place? “

        Voter fraud, voter intimidation and suppressing votes are illegal. Any law that makes them more illegal purely on the color of skin is discriminatory.

        • 1Brett1

          That makes no sense whatsoever. An act is either illegal or it’s not illegal

          • Gregg Smith

            Then remove any and all references to race from the law. That’s my point.

          • 1Brett1

            If there isn’t a racial discrimination law then there can’t be prosecution for racial discrimination…I can’t believe you are this thick.

          • nj_v2

            There’s something wrong with him. Chemicals in the water. Kicked in the head by a horse. Something.

          • JobExperience

             A second kick always seems to put them right, as seen on Green Acres and Petticoat Junction (two areas covered by Voting Rights Act).

          • jefe68

            I go back to my original reaction to this mans indifference to race: wow.

          • Gregg Smith

            Absolutely I am indifferent to race. I don’t care a wit about anyone’s skin color. I don’t expect anything less from anyone because of their color.

          • Gregg Smith

            There you go, you added the word “racial”. If discrimination is illegal, what is it about blacks that makes it more illegal?

        • jefe68

          What? You are clearly confused on this issue. 

          You keep using race as a wedge and claim it’s not about race. And yet it is.

    • JobExperience

      (straight from the mind of Frank Luntz, sidestep the issue)

      • Gregg Smith

        No, that is the issue.

        • JobExperience

          What? Spewing bigotry is the issue?
          Where’d you study philosophy? WalMart.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Keep JAQing it, Greggg.

      Too much evidence to bother listing it all here. I’m not gonna give myself carpal tunnel doing it.

      • Gregg Smith

        Nobody ever does.

        • 1Brett1

          If you are really concerned about allegations of racism toward Blacks in government, it would seem that you would follow up on some of the accusations (and subsequent court cases) mentioned by Judge Clemon on the show, for starters…are you more interested in protecting your assumptions than challenging them?

          • Gregg Smith

            I’m not assuming anything but others seem to be assuming blacks are inferior in the ability to vote. I’m trying to get an answer.

          • 1Brett1

            You know what others are assuming?

          • Gregg Smith

            I said “seem to be”, of course I don’t know for sure. I am left to assume because not one single person will answer. It’s all implied, all I get  is, it not worth the time or you can’t be serious or the related dodges. My question was a simple one.

            “What does anyone’s race have to do with their ability to vote?”

    • Roy-in-Boise

       Your question seems vague can you define your intent please?

      • Gregg Smith

        It seems to me that unless there is something inherent about being black that makes you a victim then there is no reason for a law that judges you buy the color of your skin. I have asked this question for years and never gotten an answer. I don’t think one exist without making racist assumptions based on the color of one’s skin.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

       Look at our history, and you will find the answer to your question.

      The short answer is: race has a LOT to do with a person’s ability to exercise their right to vote.

      Neil

      • Gregg Smith

        It’s 2013. How does your average racist make it harder for blacks to vote?

        • 1Brett1

          On the show, when Justice Clemon mentioned various lawsuits and judgments against members of the state legislature in Alabama about problems with racism, was he lying do you think?

          • Gregg Smith

            I’ll let you know after I hear the show at 7.

        • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

           They close voting locations and/or reduce the number of voting machines forcing very long lines and people miss a day of work etc., they require voter ID’s, they gerrymander precincts, they remove voting rights for people who have served their prison sentences, they ask additional questions at registration, they throw out registration forms – there are lots of ways, Gregg.

          Including trying to undermine the very law that protects voting rights.

          This is what the Voting Rights Act is for – when people do things that prevent people from voting, they are not allowed to do it.  If they stop trying to stop others from voting – they are removed from the list.  The Voting Rights Act has a built in exit for those who earn it.  There is no harm leaving this law in place – none.

          Many places have been removed from the list – and some places need to be added, like Ohio.

          Neil

  • Gregg Smith

    This woman voted six times and she’s black! Why does she need extra help?

    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/341051/ohio-officials-poll-worker-may-have-voted-six-times-eliana-johnson

    • 1Brett1

      So, doing away with the Voting Rights Act will do away with voter fraud?

      • Gregg Smith

        It’s not doing away with the Voting Rights Act, it’s one provision. This woman clearly does not need the protections of this needless provision. It’s insulting. 

        Maybe they’ll drop the charges because she’s black the way Holder did for this guy:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVcfymOvoUo

        • 1Brett1

          If true, the woman committed fraud and will be prosecuted (at least you don’t know that she won’t)…and the law is in place now. Take away the law and does that change this scenario? I fail to see why one person’s criminal activity should be an example of why voting laws should be overturned.

          • Gregg Smith

            That’s not my claim.

          • JobExperience

            So ask Karl Rove to explain  your claim to you.

          • jefe68

            Then why did you post it as an example?

          • Gregg Smith

            I posted it to show why blacks have no problem voting. Why do you assume blacks need their hands held? Are they inherently stupid? Fragile? Gullible? What is it?

          • jefe68

            I’m not religious, but Proverbs 26:4 seems to fit here.

            Answer not a fool according to his folly,
            lest you be like him yourself.

        • 1Brett1

          Oh, I see, so it’s a white person’s RIGHT to brandish a pistol on his side to deter crime and protect himself, but a black man can’t even carry a stick for protection? He must be “prosecuted” if he carries a stick!
          :-)

          • Gregg Smith

            That’s bizarre even for you.

          • 1Brett1

            I wonder if some liberal journalist approached a White man who had a gun strapped to his side at a polling place in an open carry state and started accosting the person with, “your gun is intimidating!” Or, “Why do you stand around brandishing a gun when I approach the voting booth?” Etc., you’d post the video to show how hateful and militant White people are? …My guess is no, cuz you only wish to show some distorted video that means nothing to this debate, that makes some stupid point…by the way, what was your point in posting that video?

          • Gregg Smith

            Why are you making all this stuff up? There is a whole universe of restrictions at a polling place. 

            The guy in question advocated killing white babies and was convicted of voter intimidation. The charges were dropped.  I don’t have to make things up, it happened. 

            The video shows a real problem with racism towards whites and the institutionalization of that racism by this administration.

          • 1Brett1

            The video also shows a neocon reporter badgering the man to try inciting him into something. Did the Black guy yell at voters or otherwise threaten them physically or verbally? Did he advocate “killing white babies” to prospective voters? The video is intentionally deceptive because it showed the first part at the polls (with no real incident other than the “reporter” telling the man that he was intimidating and told him he had what looked like a weapon), then it showed the Black guy in a different setting (as ugly and offensive as that was; it wasn’t from the same moment as the one at the polls). Also, you’re asking me to defend Holder’s actions, and I don’t even like the man, so…

            I’ve seen Tea Party organizations set up tables just outside the legal distance of political activity at polls with signs saying people had to show ID before voting (even though they didn’t). That intentionally spreads false information and is also an attempt to intimidate voters. They didn’t even get prosecuted. So what? My point being that neither scenario should mean overturning aspects of the Voting Rights Act.

            (By the way, are people who carry their pistols on their sides in open carry states prevented from carrying their pistols when they vote? I don’t know; I’m just asking.)

          • Gregg Smith

            The thug was well known local racist. The second part of the video shows an example.He was in uniform with a billy club just outside the door. I don’t know where you get the neocon reporter thing, it was a guy with a cell phone. That video was the basis for arrest and conviction. It’s illegal. I do not know of any tea partiers being arrested and convicted by a jury for voter intimidation. I sure would not excuse it. The charges were dropped by the DOJ before sentencing. 

          • 1Brett1

            Theyweren’t arrestedorconvicted. Holder’s bad judgment doesn’tanythingto dowith this SCOTUS case.

          • Gregg Smith

            Yes they were and it was under the act in question.

          • 1Brett1

            I wastalkingabout the tea party guysousidethe polls; theyweren’t arrested.

    • JobExperience

       Ubertarians always swallow the most extreme lures, fascist propaganda. You think you got a worm, but you’re hooked.

    • jefe68

      So lets change a law based on one persons illegal voting activities  By the way there are also white people who break these laws as well.

      For a guy who says it’s not about race, you sure are doing your best to make it all about race.

  • JobExperience

    Banjos are still playing through the broken glass,
    Your Cadillac, one wheel in the ditch and one on the grass. (derived from Neil Young’s Alabama)

    Ubertarians  doesn’t vote. That’s for schmucks. Contributing millions is what matters.

  • 1Brett1

    I wonder about places like Shelby, Alabama…what are their concerns? Has the Voter Rights Act hurt people there? 

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    This important issue will not be handled well on this program because they can’t address this problem in the Commonwealth.  The basic truth that minorities have been disenfranchised by the Democrat political machine in MA has been proven in a court of law by the conviction of Speaker Finneran.  But some in the media wish to claim racism only exists in certain other places.

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2013/mar/05/john-roberts/was-chief-justice-john-roberts-right-about-voting-/

    • JGC

      Was Chief Justice Roberts right about voting rates in Massachusetts? The Politifact link here says, “No”. I know nothing about how voting is handled in MA, but just to point out the link is not supporting your case. Probably need to find another one.

      • JobExperience

         No, he got his information from a right wing suspect source. (Mass. attorney general refuted him.) Judge Roberts is about like having Gregg on the bench, and the other three fascists are even worse.

    • jefe68

      Ah yes the ol right wing change the subject to divert from the issue meme.

      No one said that there was on racism in the North.
      It’s just when the laws were written in the 60′s the South kind of took this to lets say unprecedented hight’s.

      By the way the law also includes some areas of New Hampshire.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Some areas of NH are under the VRA?

        Wow. I mean, I’m not from there, and I know of rural racism (saw my first Stars ‘n’ Bars on a pickup there some 30 years ago) there, but I didn’t know it went that far.

        • jefe68

          Eight towns and two unincorporated areas in New Hampshire were covered by the preclearance rule: Rindge, Millsfield, Pinkham’s Grant, Stewartstown, Stratford, Benton, Antrim, Boscawen, Newington and Unity. Those communities saw voter turnout below 50 percent in the 1968 presidential election and, at the time, New Hampshire had a literacy test for voters, though Scanlan said that law apparently wasn’t enforced.

          http://www.concordmonitor.com/home/4869302-95/voting-act-hampshire-rights

      • JobExperience

        The irony is that Judge Scalia might have almost as many African genes as Judge Thomas. Talk about self-hatred!

    • NrthOfTheBorder

      A lot of presumption here – not to mention the disconnect.

  • JobExperience

    Mississippi is slightly more backward than Alabama, but  in Mississippi they just  found a Black gay mayoral candidate beaten, burned, dragged by vehicle and buried in a levy. A twenty something White supremacist has been charged.  I doubt  the accused acted alone. (Or maybe the candidate solicited his vote, which could offend most Ubertarians.) Hotdamn, how can people freely  vote if they are being assassinated when they file for office?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    The Supreme Court should never be the one deciding whether a law is “still needed” – that’s for the legislative branch to decide.

    The court should only decide whether a law is constitutional or not. Whether this law is valid or if it never was.

    • Wildboer

      Crazy when the all the originalists on the court all seem strongly in favor of an activist decision, isn’t it?

  • Wildboer

    Justice Sotomayor pretty much closed the case in the first 5 minutes of the hearing when she said:
    “Assuming I accept your premise, and there’s some question about that, that some portions of the south have changed, your county pretty much hasn’t… In the period we’re talking about, it has many more discriminating — 240 discriminatory voting laws that were blocked by section 5 objections. There were numerous remedied by section 2 litigation. YOU MAY BE THE WRONG PARTY BRINGING THIS.”

    Shelby county is pretty much the perfect example for the continuing need for and effectiveness of the Voting Rights Act..

    • DeJay79

       Bumper Boom!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WDIOY7RQ3F5EAR4EAP5FKRS52M bethrjacobs
  • Ray in VT

    Jane asked the question “Can a state with a strong history of racial discrimination still protect minority voters without the government’s help?”, but I think that the pertinent question in this case is “Will a state with a strong history of racial discrimination still protect minority voters without the government’s oversight?”  Certainly times can and do change, and it is my understanding that it is possible for an area to get out of the pre-clearance requirements of the Voting Rights Act, so one must perhaps ask if the criteria for getting out of such requirements are valid and being fairly applied.

    • Wildboer

      Not only is it possible for areas to get out of the pre-clearance requirements, no area that has met the criteria and applied has ever been denied! Shelby county brought this suit because they want to get out of the pre-clearance requirements despite a continuing pattern of attempted discrimination.

      In short: Shelby county could have opted out of pre-clearance without bringing suit if it weren’t for their continued record of discrimination.

  • NrthOfTheBorder

    In listening to questions and comments from the bench makes me wonder what planet the some members of SC are living on. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    That the conversation starts “Is the VRA still needed?” and this is on public radio makes me wonder if the default mode (Public Radio Politeness) will be up to this issue.

    Never forget what the right likes to do:

    Artificially Inflate Your Numbers: Spread out in the hall and try to be in the front half. The objective is to put the Rep on the defensive with your questions and follow-up. The Rep should be made to feel that a majority, and if not, a significant portion of at least the audience, opposes the socialist agenda of Washington.

    Be Disruptive Early And Often: You need to rock-the-boat early in the Rep’s presentation, Watch for an opportunity to yell out and challenge the Rep’s statements early.

    Try To Rattle Him, Not Have An Intelligent Debate:

    • 1Brett1

      I’m thinking Clayson tends to put her own way of couching topics, being a Brigham Young University grad, conservative, Mormon, and whatnot.

  • Ray in VT

    It was nice to hear Vermont get a bit of a shout out.  We don’t have to jump through the hoops that some areas do, but, of course, we haven’t been shown to have had a track record of attempting to impede people from voting.

  • OnPointComments

    In Birmingham during the election in 2008, two members of the KKK, one of whom lived in an apartment building that was being used as a polling place, showed up at the entrance in KKK uniform and one of the Klansman was carrying a billy stick.  These two Klansmen yelled racial slurs at black voters who were a minority of people registered to vote at this polling place, and the Klansmen were blocking ingress to the polling place.  A local policeman determined that the Klansman with a billy club must leave but that the other Klansman could stay because he was certified as a poll watcher for a local political party.
     
    Is this the type of case for which the Department of Justice should be enforcing the Voting Rights Act?  Two guys standing on a sidewalk, yelling?  Suppose I told you that I changed the facts, and instead of Birmingham it was Philadelphia, instead of the KKK it was New Black Panthers, and instead of black voters being the minority at the polling place it was white voters?
     
    This story is from the testimony of Christopher Coates, US Justice Department official, DOJ Voting Section chief, and former ACLU lawyer, before the US Commission on Civil Rights on September 24, 2010. The essence of his testimony is that Obama administration appointees to the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division and the Voting Section have created a hostile environment against race-neutral enforcement of the VRA.  The Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, Julie Fernandez, appointed by the Obama administration, stated that the DOJ would only enforce cases to ensure equal access for voters of color or minority language, not for white voters.
     
    Should laws be enforced without regard to a person’s race?  Should enforcement of the Voting Rights Act be race-neutral?  I belive that it should.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      “New Black Panthers”.

      Submitted without comment.

    • jefe68

      Two wrongs do not make a right.
      Your comment is so obviously done to divert from the issue here. The history speaks for itself. 

  • bridget_in_wisdom

    If as Sen. Cam contends that Shelby County has become a more “equitable and diverse community”, it is BECAUSE of the Voting Rights Act and the protection it gives to the blacks living there. It didn’t happen for no reason at all.

  • jefe68

    Mississippi just ratified the 13th Amendment, 148 years after it was made law. They just forgot to file the papers.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-mississippi-ratifies-slavery-amendment-20130218,0,7978766.story

    • DeJay79

       you mean they “forgot to file” the papers.

      • Ray in VT

        The Daily Show really ripped the then Secretary of State, and they then later apologized because he, as the one who was supposed to file the paperwork (I guess), actually had a very strong record of fighting for civil rights.  So, while a terrible oversight, it may have been an honest mistake.  Still, though, 1995?  It also took Alabama until 2000 to remove negated anti-miscegenation laws from the books.  It was a symbolic move, but still…

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Yeah, I saw that correction also.

          TDS, even when admitting mistakes, still makes most every mainstream journalism outlet look like comparative hacks.

          • Ray in VT

            They should have done their homework ahead of time in terms of the charges or allegations made against Mr. Molpus, however, I think that they provided a good example to some others in the entertainment media in how they carried out their apology.  They did it on the air, and it wasn’t just a passing reference.  It wasn’t like they said something horribly crass or unfair about someone and then just issued a quiet apology on their website where many of their viewers wouldn’t see it.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

       Ooops…

      148 years is a very long time – I think that Section 5 will have to be kept in place for at least 149 years.

      Neil

  • http://www.facebook.com/BGHooke Bruce Hooke

    If racial discrimination in voting is no longer an issue in Shelby County they should be able to get out of section 5 of the Voting Rights Act without getting the law overturned by the Supreme Court. Senator Ward needs to be asked why the have not used this route to get out from under what they see as the burden of section 5.

    • 1Brett1

      My guess is that it is part of the (neocon) desire to push such issues on to the national stage and before the US Supreme Court.

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    What is the *harm* of leaving this law in place for too long?

    Nothing – if it is no longer needed, a place can be removed from the list; and all their voting law changes will pass.

    Neil

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/QMDZ3LH5U2B4GAT7J2HS4TCP6E Jim

    i have to say this… we do not need activists judge like antonin scalia. 

    a VOTE is an unalienable right to the citizens of the United States. and yes, there are plenty of racism still exists in this country.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

       Antonin Scalia is possibly the worst jurist since those that sided in the affirmative in the Dred Scott case.

      Neil

  • DeJay79

    “racism will never be gone” -Cam Ward.

    And it is that attitude why these laws are necessary. The longer I live the more I believe “never say never”.

    I tuely believe that some day racism will be gone and I will continue to believe and work towards that goal.

  • MarkVII88

    How many African Americans have called-in to today’s show to say that there’s no racial tension or rampant racism in these southern states like there was 50 years ago??? 

  • bridget_in_wisdom

    Bless Judge U. W. Clemon’s soul for his ongoing struggle for justice and the dignity that he bestows on his office. He is the epitome of the type of Justice the Supreme Court is sorely in need of.

  • 1Brett1

    I noticed Ms. Clayson DIDN’T play a clip of Scalia calling the Voting Rights Act “racial entitlement.”

    • Bruce94

      Scalia does have a penchant for injecting nonsensical or patently absurd premises into the oral argument phase of the proceedings.  Recall his “broccoli” analogy during the “individual mandate” case.

      Also he seems to give voice to the notion that the Court serves partisan ends, that is, to accomplish political goals that cannot be achieved otherwise thru the legitimate legislative process as he clearly articulated in his “racial entitlement” rant. 

      Scalia–a Reagan appointee and gift to the Far Right that keeps on giving. 
         

    • Mike_Card

      Scalia is the most activist judge sitting–and I DO mean sitting–on his butt, being a jerk, today.  He is an embarrassment to the legal profession–and that’s a tough row to hoe.

      • Gregg Smith

        I’m against racial entitlements.

        • Mike_Card

          As am I.  That doesn’t change the fact that Scalia is an embarrassment to all of America.

          • Gregg Smith

            I know it’s a surprise but I disagree with you about Scalia. 

            This stock market thing as it relates to QE whatever and gold and all that has me wondering about corrections that were never made creating bubbles… but I’m not smart enough to understand it. I was thinking you might be. 

            Anywho, that’s off topic for now, I’ll chase you down this weekend… if I don’t forget.

          • Mike_Card

            You’re asking some really important questions about some really big topics.  Just between us girls, I’ve never heard anyone who made me think he/she knew answers to your questions.

            I know I don’t, even tho I guess I’m occasionally willing to get into the mosh pit with the rest of the gang.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            I don’t see why you feel you get to speak for  all of us.  

          • Mike_Card

            Because I’m special.

        • jefe68

          So the Voting Rights Act is about racial entitlement to you? Say it…

          • Gregg Smith

            The provision in question is about racial entitlements.

          • jefe68

            Voting is not an entitlement.

  • 1Brett1

    From Wikipedia: of Shelby County’s population break down, 89.80% are White, 7.40% are Black, .33% are American Indian, 1.03% are Asian, 0,02% are Pacific Islander, 0.72% are from mixed races, 2.03% are Latino or HIspanic…Oh yeah, such a diverse county.

    • Gregg Smith

      What conclusions do you draw from the lack of diversity? Say it.

      • 1Brett1

        My point was that when Cam Ward said Shelby County, Alabama was a community of diversity, he wasn’t being very accurate in that characterization.

        • Gregg Smith

          Are you a white male, I am. We are both musicians to boot. I’d say we are diverse. Diversity doesn’t have to be about skin color.

          • 1Brett1

            Except when you are a senator on a talk show about challenging the race part of the Voting Rights Act and you claim your state no longer has race problems with voting, in fact you are proud of the diversity in your state, you ARE talking about racial diversity.

          • Tyranipocrit

            unfortunately–it is, especially in the deep south and texas and every red state in america

          • Gregg Smith

            I just get sick of it. I’m not going to make sweeping judgements on people based on the color of their skin. I don’t care about correlation, causation, excuses or any of it. Content of character is how I judge a man and hope to be judged by my fellow man. 

          • jefe68

            But you are. Don’t you see that?

          • Gregg Smith

            I’m not the one who wants a separate set of laws for blacks.

          • jefe68

            So in your view the Voting Rights Act is a separate
            law for African Americans? Really?

          • Gregg Smith

            The provision in question certainly is.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            But you’re not a racist, nosireebob.
            So nobody on the right is. Anymore–hey we have a two-term black president.

          • jefe68

            Well now you are one enlightened white man. 

      • Tyranipocrit

         um, the  conclusion is to attack a voters right act–is to attempt to obstruct the rights of the very few minorities in the county–disenfranchising them even more–implicating racism, hatred, bigotry, ignorance, tyrannical selfish repulsive small-minded, malevolent hearts of the white republican base fantasizing about the old tyme religion of slavery and lynchings.  i said it.  So what.  These people should be in jail–not public office–take away their guns too.

        • Tyranipocrit

           and tax churches

  • 1Brett1

    Cam Ward is just looking out for his poor constituents…I mean those poor people of Shelby, Alabama, being dreadfully, excessively burdened by that oppressive Voting Rights Act!

    • DeJay79

       and I like the use of sarcasm, very hard to pull off over text.

    • Gregg Smith

      And what do you think his motives are? Go ahead and say it.

      • 1Brett1

        I don’t know what his motives are, and I can’t speculate as I’m not that familiar with the man. But, considering Cam Ward said he had a problem with the Sec. 5 part (the part that pertains to race/color) of the Voting Rights act because it caused an undue burden on jurisdictions in his state, and because Alabama could legally rectify that problem without taking it to the US Supreme Court, I find his “concern” for his constituents (as his only reasoning in defending the Supreme Court case) to be less than compelling as an explanation for the impetus that lead to the action of taking it to SCOTUS.

      • jefe68

        Are you aware what you sound like?

        • Ray in VT
          • Gregg Smith

            That’s funny! Guilty as charged. 

            It’s true, I don’t like beating around the bush. I prefer laying it out there and letting the chips fall. No shame. I draw my own inferences about what Brett is implying about the people and government of Alabama. I guess I’ll keep them to myself.

          • Ray in VT

            That’s all that popped into my head.  One of the local radio stations here uses that clip sometimes, and I just like that movie.

            My people aren’t real direct.  We tend to beat around the bush quite a bit at times, and I think that, at least for me, it has to do with generally trying to be diplomatic about things.  Sometimes the fine art subtlety is required when dealing with superiors, subordinates, customers and vendors.  One might want to tell them what one thinks about them, but it sometimes does more harm than good in my experience.  I like the old adage that discretion is, or can be, the better part of valor.

          • Gregg Smith

            Point taken and I largely agree. Sometimes it’s a matter of necessity in the real world of getting things done, on time, on budget with a team. I get that. And with family… without a doubt. It’s just easier.

            But not on stupid blogs, let’r rip!

          • Ray in VT

            It’s generally just not in my nature to let’r rip.  As much as possible I avoid that route when I feel that it would not be productive, but, of course, I have been known to make exceptions to the position.

  • Tyranipocrit

    why even attack the law if you have no agenda?  If you ahve no agenda, no racist agenda, no political strategy of obstruction, why try to erase it

    • Ray in VT

      Principle?

  • Tyranipocrit

    How does giving one man a right to vote disenfranchise another man’s right to vote–it does not it cannot.  Toe even bring up this issue is clearly a racist agenda. 

    • Ray in VT

      There certainly did seem to be a vein of thinking in the civil rights era and afterwards that indeed ensuring the rights of minorities did somehow take away from the rights of those who had historically discriminated against them.  I think that one still hears that a bit today regarding gay rights.

      • Duras

        Yup.

        “A freedom which is interested only in denying freedom must be denied.”  And it is not true that the recognition of the freedom of others limits my own freedom: to be free is not to have the power to do anything you like; it is to be able to surpass the given toward an open future; the existence of others as a freedom defines my situation and is even the condition of my own freedom.  I am oppressed if I am thrown into prison, but not if I am kept from throwing my neighbor into prison.”

        Simone De Beauvoir from ‘The Ethics of Ambiguity.’

        • Ray in VT

          That is well said.  I think that this fairly well represents the opposing view:

          http://www.conservapedia.com/Zero-sum_game

          • Duras

            This is the next sentence after the previous quotation:

            “Indeed, the oppressor himself is conscious of this sophism; he hardly dares to have recourse to it; rather than make an unvarnished demand for freedom to oppress he is more apt to present himself as the defender of certain values.  It is not in his own name that he is fighting, but rather in the name of civilization, of institutions, of monuments, and of virtues which realize objectively the situation which he intends to maintain; he declares that all these things are beautiful and good in themselves; he defends a past which has assumed the icy dignity of being against an uncertain future whose values have not yet been won; this is what is well expressed by the label “conservative.”

            –The Ethics of Ambiguity, page 91.

            I think it accurately represents social conservativism.  “Economic conservativism” or “neoliberal capitalism” is a different but not an unrelated monster, per se. 

          • Ray in VT

            I was watching the ESPN documentary The Ghosts of Ole Miss this afternoon while my kids were in the other room, and some of the statements from figures such as then Mississippi Governor Ross Barnet were very much in this vein.  He spoke of integration being genocide against the “white race”.  It was some pretty powerful stuff seeing the injured people and the burned cars that resulted from the riot that occurred in opposition to one black man seeking an education.  It’s weird to think sometimes how that wasn’t all that long ago really.

  • Stevmg

    Roberts voted for the Affordable Care Act because he didn’t want the Court to appear to be partisan and he thought that Romney and the GOP would win in November, anyway, and would legislatively strike down that law.  As that strategy failed, he has reurned to his consevative and anti-democratic roots and will work to deny voting to those who disagree with conservative and reactionary thinking.

    Four million whites controlled South Africa which had forty million blacks.  What makes Liberals think that having a non-white plurality or majority in the population will prevent the white minority from controlling government?  Woirked for a long, long time in South Africa.  It will work here, and the GOP, which has become the new world neo-fascist party has known this and is working to implement it.  God help us!

    • Gregg Smith

      I agree with you about Roberts.

  • Stevmg

    The only possible salvation from the oncoming T.E.A. Party/GOP (the neo-fascist party) takeover of the country is that because of their belief in fantasy and not reality they will drive this country into a third-world status, ruin it, and make it ineffective.  To wit – Governor Perry of Texas went to Silicon Valley to attract informatics companies to Texas citing the much more favorable tax laws (because of the deep cuts in education, healthcare, etc. in that state.)  The companies turned their backs on him citing the intellectual wasteland that Texas is with no innovative and brilliant thinkers such as are found at Stanford, UC Berkley, and the Bay Area schools in general – a resource that Texas can never acquire.

    “Do not be deceived, the Lord is not mocked, for whatsoever a man sows this shall he also reap.”  Galations 6:7 for the Bible freaks who populate this Party.

    Perry and the GOP are starting to reap the rewards of their anti-intellectualism and right-wing fundamentalism.  Hope this takes hold before they totally ru(i)n the country.

     

    • Duras

      As a liberal, I ask that there be good health care and good schools.  Conservatives just will not acknowledge that California has the world’s 9th largest economy because of a university system that is envied by every other country. 

      And if Paul Ryan want’s to go around talking about equal opportunity (without explaining how to achieve that)–may I summit that if you live in California, the availability to get into UC Berkley and UCLA (the two best schools amongst a seaboard of great schools) is an equalizer. 

      • Gregg Smith

        People are flooding out of California. Why?

        • Ray in VT

          From April 2010 to July 2012 the population of California grew at a faster rate than that of the U.S. at large, so people aren’t exactly fleeing the state.

          • Gregg Smith

            For the first time in decades more people are moving out than are moving in.

            “Census data shows that more Americans have left California since 2005 than have come to live in it. The finding is a sharp contrast to earlier decades — 4.2 million Americans moved to California from other states between 1960 and 1990.” 

            Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/09/24/residents-leave-california-in-droves-over-last-two-decades-study-finds/#ixzz2Mrbiuvcp

          • Gregg Smith
          • Ray in VT

            I was going to cite the nbc article as an alternative, because it is just less biased at a basic level, as it does not include statements like:

            “Basically, if you don’t own a piece of Facebook or Google and you haven’t
            robbed a bank and don’t have rich parents, then your chances of being able to
            buy a house or raise a family in the Bay Area or in most of coastal California
            is pretty weak,” Kotkin told the paper, adding that in his estimation, the state
            is run for the benefit of the very rich, the very poor, and public
            employees.

            Some of that data is bound to be affected by the economic downturn, so I would be interested to see a year by year breakdown.  Careful what you wish for, so to speak.  Do you really want California exporting liberals to other states.  Maybe they’re just colonizing.

          • Gregg Smith

            It’s census data so…

            Speaking of bias, this reminds me of the reporting of jobs created or saved. When that number is reported without saying how many jobs were lost or how many it takes just to keep up with population then it’s a bit misleading and biased. 

            Where is the source you cited that reported the numbers of people moving to CA without reporting how many left? I wouldn’t trust them.

          • Ray in VT

            The quote that I excerpted certainly wasn’t from the Census, so….

            My source was http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/06000.html, which is based on census data, so….  It may not have move ins and move outs, but it is a pretty standard data sheet that is available for all states.

            For California, I would look at the fact that despite that fact the population has grown over the past several years, the number of unemployed is over 450,000 less than at its peak, which is why the state unemployment rate dropped by over 1% last year.

            Speaking of bias, though, there’s plenty of bad graphs out there, like this one:

            http://mediamatters.org/research/2012/10/01/a-history-of-dishonest-fox-charts/190225

            The network cited there has a problem with some of their graphs on what seems like an uncommon basis for a news network.

          • Gregg Smith

            I’m not chasing the Fox monster. All I’ll say is I’d put it up against any other network as far as accuracy and fairness are concerned. Don’tmake me bring upedited videos From NBC.

          • Ray in VT

            I generally wouldn’t put them up against the other networks in terms of fairness and accuracy.  Some of their actual news isn’t so bad, but the network seems to be at least half partisan pundits, and they employ so many failed GOP candidates as commentators that it isn’t even funny.  They are both the most, except for PBS, and least trusted network:

            http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/mediawire/203289/poll-fox-news-most-trusted-and-least-trusted-network-in-america/

            I also found this poll interesting:

            http://publicmind.fdu.edu/2011/knowless/

            It found that Fox News viewers knew less about some events than people who didn’t watch the news.  There was also a study about conspiracy theories.  When Democrats knew less general information questions, they were more likely to believe in conspiracy theories, but the opposite was true for conservatives.  It makes one wonder about their information consumption habits.

          • Gregg Smith

            I’ve seenthat poll and it’s full of holes.

            Doyou have a problem with all the Democrats onFox. Denis Kucinich? There’s many.

          • Ray in VT

            So what specific problems do you have with that poll that makes it “full of holes”?

            There’s also this:

            http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal/2011_06/the_most_consistently_misinfor030360.php

            which says that at that time Fox consistently had the most misinformed viewers.

            Dennis can do what he wants, as can Alan Colmes, but I generally view them as the token liberal voices, considering the preponderance of conservative voices there.

        • Duras

          You republicans have been talking about an exodus in California since Reagan left the governorship.  It is propaganda.  The bigger irony was that republican criticism got loudest when there was a republican governor. 

          Nonetheless, California is still the 9th biggest economy in the world (and it is not an energy state in the way Texas is).  Now they have a governor with a brain.  He cut some of the university spending, which even I acknowledged needed to be done years ago, but the principles remain: universities are the lifeblood of any state. 

        • Duras

          Also, you know what states have robust economies with great universities: South Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, etc.

  • Gregg Smith

    Off topic: You go Rand Raul!!!

    Carry on.

    • Ray in VT

      Don’t forget Senators Lee, Cruz, Wyden, Chambiss and Rubio, who have all also spoken.  Not only can I commend someone for actually getting up and talking to filibuster, because if you’re going to do it, in my opinion, then that is how you should have to do it, but I do think that both the public and the Congress should be asking questions regarding the administration’s drone policies.

      • Gregg Smith

        Yes, I was remiss. Special kudos to Wyden, this should not be partisan and I dig the old school approach. 

        The logistics of a real filibuster demonstrate passion. It’s now in hour nine. Rand Paul took a stand and backed it up. That inspired the others, how could it not? I’m not a fan of Brennen (or any of the nominees really) but I do believe elections have consequences. However, this is worth taking a breath and getting right, Brennen is the key man. I don’t think Rand Paul’s demands are out of line.

        • Ray in VT

          I don’t think that it should be a partisan issue either, and now Bassarro has apparently also taken part.  I generally don’t like the idea of delaying or filibustering nominees, but perhaps considering who the nominee is, what position he is up for and the answer regarding drones that AG Holder gave recently, I think that it is perhaps justified.

          I have issues with drones, and Holder’s statement I did not like one bit.  I will certainly criticize the administration on this issue where I think that it is in the wrong, just as I did regarding the previous administration on issues such as how it handled the holding of Jose Padilla and how it engaged in its warrentless wiretapping program.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            But would you bet a nickel that Rand Paul would be doing this to a President Romney’s drone system?

            There’s just something baldly “The Dem is doing it so we’re shitfitting” about this. And the GOP’s been crying wolf for so long–almost five years–about Obama that I don’t know who on their side actually cares about this beyond the grandstanding.

          • Gregg Smith

            I bet he would. It’s interesting you have to make up scenarios.

          • Ray in VT

            Thankfully a Mitt Romney presidency will always be a made up scenario.

          • Gregg Smith

            It breaks my heart. I can’t believe you like this. It’s awful and is not going to get better.

          • Ray in VT

            Way to spread the doom and gloom.  Aren’t you the one who is generally telling people that the sky is not falling?

            I think that it will.  It took us a long time to get to where we were when we bottomed out, and it is going to take a long time to fix things.  Maybe the Democrats won’t get things right in some areas, but I don’t think that the current GOP is getting much of anything right anywhere.

          • Ray in VT

            I might.  He might be enough of a purist to complain no matter who is in the Oval Office, but I don’t know, or even think that I know, enough about him to make a judgement one way or the other.

            The hypocrisy on both sides of the isle is pretty appalling when it comes to this sort of thing.  It’s probably part of the reason that so many people dislike and/or distrust politicians.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            He (Rand Paul) has called for drones to be used on the border, so he is no humanitarian.

            Laws that don’t apply to everybody all the time are bad laws.

            Neil

          • Gregg Smith

            I agree with you, especially laws that target blacks like hate crime laws or affirmative action.

    • Duras

      You realize that the liberal-progressives for the last couple of years where the only ones talking about this….  As happy as I am that someone is turning this into a national conversation, I wish conservatives would actually get some principles instead of being for whatever liberals are against.  I think Rand Paul’s concerns are genuine, but the vast republican universe is not. 

      So, if Rand Paul goes on another filibuster about campaign financing and it makes the Obama Administration look bad–are you going to take out your palm-palms?

      • Gregg Smith

        Pom-poms.

        • Duras

           Excuse me.

  • RolloMartins

    As John Stewart hinted, and after seeing the ways the GOP tried to limit minority voting in the last election, the Voting Rights Act needs to be expanded (to at least include Ohio, Penn, Wisconsin) not struck down. 

  • Gregg Smith

    Ray, try as I might I can’t escape the Fox monster. All I did was point out correctly that people were flooding out of California. I am too careful to avoid the same tired debates caused by linking Fox. But they were correct too. 

    I know you don’t like them and see no point in arguing it. They’re top dog and everybody comes after them, fine. Witness the ridiculous poll you cited and the relentless reporting of it. I the think even Jon Stewart piled on. 

    I would not have a problem with Media Matters if they were not tax exempt or if they reported on the absolutely horrendous tactics of other networks. 

    • Ray in VT

      It depends upon how one defines flooding, I suppose.  In 2011 100,000 more people left California than moved in, but the population is still growing faster than the U.S. population at large.  I wouldn’t call 100,000 out of a population of nearly 40,000,000 a flood, but that’s subjective.

      I don’t particularly care for Fox News.  That is true, although my aversion to the article that you cited contained blatantly biased statements that I would not expect some more straight down the middle journalism to include.  Had the article been a better news article, like the NBC one, I would have liked it more.  I just don’t like partisan media in general, which is why I also don’t like MSNBC.

      If you don’t like the polls, then fine.  That’s your business, but to call polls conducted by reputable institutions names merely because you don’t like their conclusion is like calling an article listing various incorrect statements made by conservatives a hit piece when it merely reports the fact of what was said.

      Media Matters does criticize other networks, but Fox just gives them the most fodder.  For instance, they are probably having a bit of fun with the Daily Caller in light of how one person in the Menendez story said that she was paid to read a script and had never met him.

      • Gregg Smith

        It’s not that I don’t like the conclusions it’s I think the methods were shoddy. I studied it it detail at the time and came away amazed at the dishonesty. But now I don’t remember the details and am not inclined to debate it. It sounds like a copout I know but we won’t agree and the only point I was making is people are leaving CA, sorry if you don’t like the word “flooding” but it fits. This is a significant change for them.

        So back to Fox, I like them. I don’t worship them but IMO they are the most balanced. I understand Media Matters spends 24/7 looking for anything. They will find it. Mistakes are made by every network but every network does not have MM assigning dastardly intentions and making mountains out of mole hills. I’m not saying Fox is above reproach, I’m just saying they are better than the rest in my view. 

        I just don’t buy the notion that fox viewers are mind-numbed, brainwashed idiots being fed propaganda. And that is the implication MM tries to sell. Debating it gives credence to that false premise. As a matter of fact, it kinda pisses me off, so why bother?

        These polls made news. You also linked a Political Animal that had a video of Jon Stewart on Fox making the claim. I thought I remembered him getting in on it and think I mentioned that. Did you see Chris Wallace’s rebuttal the next week? 

        When I heard about the poll I questioned the validity and checked it out because it did not fit what I knew to be true. You on the other hand (correct me) believed it without question because it fit what you believed to be true. That’s the difference. I suppose I should look up Wallace’s rebuttal or any of the thorough debunking that went on at the time. I don’t think you are interested if you never questioned it to begin with. And I am sick of arguing about Fox on every issue that comes up. So if you are curious you can find plenty of evidence the poll was bogus.

        • Ray in VT

          So what methods exactly do you think were shoddy?  Specifically, please, otherwise it is a copout, quite frankly.

          I will admit that I did not look closely at their methodology, and I rarely do when the polls are conducted by reputable institutions or groups, as I have in the past conducted polling research, and some of my friends currently do.  I realize the care that people who are interested in achieving a valid outcome take when attempting to formulate the questions asked.

          I find it very interesting how you question the validity of various polls conducted by reputable groups or the conclusions of wide ranging reports, yet you will constantly push information from fringe or outright bogus groups, such as the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, that have little to no credibility.  Such actions certainly say to me that you are not interested in the facts, and that you will grasp for and lap up anything, no matter how questionable, that will support your views, so kindly do not question my intellectual integrity, as I am not the one of us that has a real problem with that.

          I don’t think that Fox is all bad, but I think that they definitely have a slant, just like MSNBC, which also did not perform very well in the Farleigh poll.  To say, though, that Media Matters just searches out the few gaffs that a network will make during a day is, in my opinion, not an accurate representation of Fox’s track record.  For instance, take a look at how outsized the voice that they give to climate deniers versus what exists in the legitimate scientific community.  I think that Media Matters would call out CNN for some of those similar comments, but CNN doesn’t have someone like Brian Kilmeade on their network saying things such as this transaction:

          John called climate change, the “most important thing we need to be
          concerned about,” to which Kilmeade replied sarcastically, “This morning
          it snowed, only because there was pollution in China.”

          When John protested that 98 percent of climatologists say climate
          change is real, Kilmeade shot back: “You mean the corrupt ones? You mean
          the corrupt ones who admit they skew their findings?”

          http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/23/brian-kilmeade-fox-news-host-suggests-corrupt-climate-change-scientists-believe-global-warming_n_2535612.html

          I’m assuming that Kilmeade would be referring to “climategate”, where an inquiry found that scientists did not in any way manipulate their data:

          http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/07/climategate-investigation_0_n_637622.html

          Please feel free to trash the Huffington Post for it’s slant.  I know that it has one, but the stories to which it links in these cases are valid.

          Perhaps part of your issue is that you start at what you “know to be true”, despite the available research and facts.  I assume that you don’t know everyone who watches Fox News or listens to Rush Limbaugh, and you seem to think that those listeners are highly informed.  I’m sure that some are.  In general, though, I think that a great many are not, and research seems to bear that out.

          • Gregg Smith

            Please, Kilmeade? How about I dissect what Al Roker says? How about I assign Ed Shultz’s temperament to all of MSNBC? Look, this is one of those instances where I think you are too far gone to debate. I think your views on this are beyond the pale and I am trying not to take the bait because it’s pointless. I responded with a fact about CA and you are all over the map. I’m not going to argue about FOX or Climate change. To do so is to just listen you make judgements about me, it’s not about me. It forces me to voice my opinions about you, it’s not about you.

            “Reputable” is not just who you say is reputable. I have no idea who the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine is although I suppose I cited them at one point because they made sense. I try to weigh the evidence without trashing the source then make my judgement. You seem to dismiss sources out of hand first. I don’t have a big problem with HuffPo.

            There is no comparison between MSNBC and Fox. MSNBC is derelict and devious. Do you remember the Zimmerman audio? Or The Sandy Hook father? Or the racist at the tea party with a gun? They edit videos to shape stories. I can trot out tons of stuff that Media Matter lets slide. Why? If there is a show on it maybe. I don’t consistently push fringe groups, I weigh evidence and see what makes the most sense. Again, “fringe” is your word, I consider those who get news exclusively from NPR to have very narrow views, fringe. I consider Rush listeners to be mainstream. I know that sounds crazy to you in this liberal bastion but it’s not. I’ll go farther, IMO NPR listeners are more misinformed than most. I bring up stuff all the time that is common knowledge in my circles but here no one has heard of them.Look how long it took before people here realized Benghazi was not about a video. How many people here understand spending went up after the sequester? How many people here trot out Lily Ledbetter as a bill about equal pay for women? And on and on. Or that California’s population is growing?

            So, do you trust Politifact? They’ve gotten some things horribly wrong most notably having to admit their “Lie of the Year” was actually true. But they got this right.

            http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2011/jun/20/jon-stewart/jon-stewart-says-those-who-watch-fox-news-are-most/

            And does Chris Wallace get a say?

            http://dailycaller.com/2011/06/26/wallace-fires-back-i-guess-the-joke-is-on-jon-stewart/

            I’m just passing this along but as I said it’s pointless to debate, your mind is already made up.

          • Ray in VT

            I came to the conclusion that you were beyond hope way back when you said that the Klan and the NAACP were basically the same, and I know that you stand 110% behind that.

            My mind is quite changeable, as long as there are facts to support such a position.  For instance, I did not attack the statistic provided in the Fox article that you cited, merely the biased language from the WSJ commentator that the article contained.  I broadened my position, or was “all over the map”, in order to provide some examples of how Fox doesn’t just make a little mistake here or there.  They’ve got a pretty long track record on promoting certain viewpoints that do not always coincide with the facts.

            Reputable is certainly not something that I bestow, nor do I claim such power.  It should be derived from one’s reputation, and in the case of polling firms how one’s polls reflect the facts.  I consider Rasmussen to be less reputable as a polling firm based upon it’s track record of being off from the outcomes.  Gallup is certainly having some issues these days, and Fox’s was quite good this last cycle.  However, one cannot, as far as I’m concerned, call someone or something with a long, sordid history of lies and distortions reputable.

            That’s part of my problem with Rush.  He gets paid very well to rattle on for a few hours per day and he plays fast and loose with the facts.  I’m sure that you’ll deny that, but if you do, then I think that it only proves my point.  That such a figure has achieved prominence as a news and opinion maker in some circles shows how poor some circles are at judging facts.

            You say that you’ve never heard of the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine?  That is interesting.  They are the creationists behind the climate denial petition that you have cited several times that is supposed to have blown out of the water the poll of climate scientists that I cited.  I question your memory, Gregg.  For instance, I made some reference to that Valerie Jarrett “Obama’s revenge” quote a while back, and you said that you didn’t recall it.  It was posted here on On Point back in November, by none other than yourself.  I question not only your memory, but also the copious amounts of thorough investigations that you claim to have done, especially considering the shaky ground upon which many of your conclusions rest.

          • Gregg Smith

            I asked what would you call the National Association for the Advancement of White People and suggested the answer would be: the KKK. 

            I did NOT say they were “basically the same”. I think the NAACP is racist and a tax exempt arm of the Democrat party. I think they are an anathema to black success. Their time has passed. But they don’t lynch white people. That’s what I stand by 110%. 

            Yes, you are all over the map. You interjected the fox poll. We were talking about CA. You brought up global warming out of the blue in an effort to criticize my thinking. Now you’re veering off into Rush land. All while you ignore the links that debunk the fox poll, which is beside the point.

            Regarding the petition project, I was quite clear that I did not put stock in it. I was quite clear why I posted it. This (and the above) is why I tried not to go here with you. You are telling me what I think and criticizing me for thinking it when I don’t think what you say I think. It becomes, as I said, a diatribe about me. It’s pointless.

            A look at my profile reveals over 4700 comments. Yea, my memory sucks sometimes and needs to be jarred, sue me.

            Having said all that, I still find your comments worth reading and, for the most part, enjoy the debates. I just wish you would refute the facts on the merits and leave it at that but you don’t. You get in your digs wherever you can which I try to ignore when they are made out of the blue.

          • Gregg Smith

            To be clear, I don’t mean to imply you are the only one I think has opinions beyond the pale. I think you are better than most and do challenge my contentions from time to time. But I gather that you think I’m beyond hope which explains a lot. I get the feeling from your digs and from your comments about Christians, Rush and others that you dismiss things out of hand after you’ve decided to give up all hope. Now that you’ve concluded I am a climate denier (not true) a creationist (never said that, not true) and listen to Rush (guilty) that all my opinions are suspect. That’s a mistake that I don’t make about you despite my views on much of what you write. 

          • Ray in VT

            Based upon some of your stated views, I do very much take what you say with a grain of salt, and I find many of your views to be highly questionable, Gregg, which is not to say that I do not find value in some of your opinions, but, yes, I do think that on a variety of topics your minds seems to be made up despite available evidence to the contrary.

            This whole Fox thing that we’ve gotten into was regarding that first California link, which I basically would have just looked at and considered, as they used census data, but you said something like “oops, that’s Fox”, plus I did find that one paragraph of commentary to be biased. 

            Now, as for the poll that I cited, I looked at the Politifact page, and it did not make any references to the Farleigh Dickinson University poll that I mentioned.  I also did find it interesting that Politifact did conclude that regarding an Iraq War poll that Fox News viewers were significantly more misinformed than other viewers.

            Again, as for being “all over the map”, it is useful during a debate to highlight the general track record of someone or something that is being debated, and I think that in areas such as climate change, Fox does have a somewhat distinguished history of giving substantial airtime and credence to anti climate change positions that have little credibility in the scientific community.  You say that you are not a climate denier, but you certainly do share enough links from those who are, and many of those groups are creationist groups.  I certainly will dismiss their views on climate change out of hand, given their other unscientific positions.

            I do get in my digs sometimes, although I hold a lot back some days.  I do enjoy some of your comments.  You say, though, that you want to debate issues on the facts, but yet you have denied the poll from the AGU and dismissed the evidence from massive Congressional reports detailing the misrepresentation of intelligence and the outright falsehoods made by the Bush administration in the lead up to the invasion of Iraq, so, in some respects, I do not feel that debating facts is possible with you on certain topics.

          • Ray in VT

            Also, to be clear, I took my comments on the Klan from your comments here:

            “Do you think it fair to call the KKK the National Association for the
            Advancement of White People? I do. And I don’t look at the NAACP any
            differently. As Walter E. Williams puts it, they are “the klan with a
            tan”.” – October 9, 2012 show

            “Now they are the racist arm of the Democrat party.”

            “There is no organization called the NAAWP. They are the KKK. I have no idea why the NAACP isn’t looked at in the same light.”

            That certainly looks to be to be comparing or equating one group with the other.

  • thequietkid10

    I don’t get the criticism of voter ID laws…

    This law prevents those who have some sort of photo ID from voting…

    poor people are less likely to have an id, and have more difficulty obtaining a photo ID…

    African Americans are more likely to be poor.

    So because African Americans make up a fraction of a group that are more likely then other groups to not have a photo ID, ergo, the law against voting without an ID is racist…???

    • Gregg Smith

      What is it about being black that makes you poor and how much does an ID cost?

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